The Negative Ontology of Happiness: a Schopenhauerian Argument

Paper by Manolito Gallegos, published on March 21, 2011 in Heidelberger Graduiertenjournal für Geisteswissenschaften

In this essay I will examine Schopenhauer’s contention that there is, in fact, no hap-piness, and that instead it is merely a lack of suffering that we label as such. To do this,I will first explore the claim itself, as well as some additional hypotheses and argumentsthat Schopenhauer presents for this position. I will then make a number of objectionsand provide refutations for each of them, with the resulting conclusion being favourablefor Schopenhauer’s position; however, I will also comment on some areas of philosophythat could possibly yield problems for the position, as well as discussing briefly whatsorts of further conclusions might be drawn from the nonexistence of happiness, andwhich areas are clearly not affected by it without further argumentation.

Heidelberger Graduiertenjournal für Geisteswissenschaften 2